Pioneers Surge Late, Fall to Niagara 4-2

NIAGARA UNIV., N.Y. – The Sacred Heart offense came to life late in the third period, but it was too late as the Pioneer hockey team fell to Niagara 4-2 in an Atlantic Hockey contest, Friday night.  The Pioneers fell to 3-14-5 overall and 3-8-5 in the AHA, while the Purple Eagles upped their record to 14-7-2 and 11-5-0.

Sacred Heart trailed 4-0 before sophomore defenseman Alex Stuart (Sauk Rapids, Minn.) knocked in his first score of the season, on the man advantage, with 4:44 left in the final frame.  With 1:06 left to play, sophomore Doug Maclean (Dowington, Pa.) fired a slap shot toward the Niagara goal that was deflected in by junior center Anthony Yelovich (Little Falls, N.J.) to cut the Lead to two.

Senior forward David Ross got things going for Niagara with a goal coming 14:08 into the first period following a scrum in front of the SHU net.  At the 17:06 mark, senior forward Paul Zanette added his 19th goal of the season to give the Purple Eagles a 2-0 lead entering the first break.

In the second period, Niagara scored at the 13:59 mark when freshman Ryan Rashid fired a shot on that was picked up in front of the net by Zanette.  With his back to the net, Zanette pushed a no-look pass over the linemate and fellow senior Bryan Haczyk who fired in for a 3-0 Purple Eagle lead.

Midway through the third period, Niagara freshman Scott Arnold received and game misconduct and was subsequently disqualified from the game for a hit from behind on Sacred Heart freshman Chad Filteau (Regina, Sask.).

Sophomore Steven Legatto (Kelowna, B.C.) started in net and made 29 saves, while giving up all four goals for the Pioneers.  In relief, junior Oliver St. Onge (Wickham, Que.) provided 12 stops in 16 minutes of play.  For Niagara, Chris Noonan made 29 saves to earn the win.

The Purple Eagles held a 45-31 advantage in shots on goal.  Sacred Heart made good on one power play in four tries, while holding Niagara scoreless in all six power play attempts.

The Pioneers and Purple Eagles go back at it tomorrow night with a 7:05 pm face-off at Dwyer Arena.